Blog Entry

Aiken takes familiar path to Clemson

Posted on: June 26, 2011 7:58 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer

In case you haven't noticed, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney can recruit. While the coach has been placed on the hot seat by some, that hasn't affected him on the recruiting trail as he reeled in another top recruit on Sunday in Bamberg (S.C.) defensive end Martin Aiken.

"I told (Swinney) I was going to try to hold onto it until I was absolutely positive and could announce it to everybody," Aiken told about a conversation after Clemson's camp last week. "He smiled, looked at me and said if I hadn’t told him that right then, he’d have been jumping up and down and hugging me because he’s wanted me for a long time. So he told me to take my time and if anything changed, let him know."

The 6-foot-3, 250-pounder selected the school over South Carolina and Georgia Tech and held offers from schools such as Auburn, USC and Tennessee. He got to talk with former Clemson and Bamberg-Ehrhardt High defensive linemen Da'Quan Bowers and Ricky Sapp about the program before making his own decision.

"I know a lot of people think they probably pushed me there, but those guys didn’t," Aiken told the site. "It was more like they thought I was really considering going somewhere else. We hung out at camp, and they were like, 'Wow, you’ve got a lot of offers. How you feel about Clemson.' I told them, and when I told them, they were surprised because I had all these big offers. They told me they weren’t going to try to influence me, but encouraged me to go wherever fit me best. Just make your own decision. Those are good guys, they really helped me out."

Clemson now has 12 commits in their class of 2012 after Aiken's pledge. He had a monster season as a junior last year, racking up 12 sacks and over 100 tackles as a defensive end.
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